Affordable Liveable Housing

ACORN Canada members are fighting for affordable and livable housing at all levels of government across Canada.

Your Ottawa Region: Vermin, mould is just the tip of the iceberg: Heron Gate tenants

Waving posters featuring dead mice and mould found in their apartments, Heron Gate-area residents shouted slogans like “don’t move, make your landlord improve” as they marched down Baycrest Drive to protest what they say is landlord negligence.

“My cat brought me a mouse from the basement yesterday. We’ve got bugs. We can only do so much. We don’t want to live like that. We pay a lot,” said Heron Gate-area resident Jennifer Macwaters, who lives in a three-bedroom apartment with her husband and two young children. “We want things fixed. Our parks are disgusting, (the landlords) don’t take care of the property and there’s garbage everywhere.”

Macwaters was one of roughly 50 people, including mothers and their children, who showed up for a rally hosted by Ottawa ACORN Heron Gate Tenants

Ottawa ACORN is a branch of ACORN Canada, an independent national organization of low and moderate income families.

 

Ottawa Metro: Clean this place up, Heron Gate residents demand

About 50 angry Heron Gate tenants and members of Ottawa ACORN rallied outside their homes yesterday to say they are fed up with garbage not being picked up, mould growing on their walls and rats running wild. But it was unclear what action might be taken or what the property manager intends to do about it.

TransGlobe Property Management Services, which owns the Heron Gate rental complex, took over direct control of managing the property just four weeks ago, after contracting it out for years, a spokesman said. “I don’t know what happened over the last several months or years in that building and the work of the last management firm that was in there,” spokesman Danny Roth said.

 

Ottawa Citizen: Heron Gate tenants protest troubled living conditions

Jennifer Macwaters has had it with the bugs, mould, broken fridge and flood-prone basement in her Heron Gate townhouse.

“I’ve got two young children living here. I can’t have them living in that. That was supposed to be their play room down in that basement,” said Macwaters. “You ask them to do something, it will take them weeks, months to fix things.”

So when she got a flyer in her mailbox about a neighbourhood meeting organized by ACORN, an advocacy group for low- and middle-income tenants, the 27-year-old decided to put her free time from her maternity leave to work. Soon, she was handing out flyers of her own, inviting her neighbours in the sprawling Heron Gate Village complex of apartment buildings and townhouses to gather Tuesday morning and tell their landlord, TransGlobe Property Management, what they think about the poor state of repair.

CBC Ottawa: Heron Gate residents protest squalid conditions

Dozens living in squalour at one of Ottawa's most complained-about residential complexes protested what they called deplorable living conditions on Tuesday.

The tenants of several apartments at Heron Gate are calling for the property management firm, TransGlobe, to improve their living conditions. They've previously complained about infestations of vermin, mould, and a lack of proper building maintenance.

"It's just completely disgusting," said tenant Jennifer Macwaters. "It smells awful and it's unsafe for me, my kids. It affects all of us."

Erica Marx, who is with the local advocacy group ACORN, organized the action on Tuesday. She said a lamppost in the common area behind her home collapsed last year and one of her children, as well as another child, both received electric shocks from the post while playing outside.

TransGlobe, based in Mississauga, Ont., eventually cut the wires.

Petition: Healthy and Liveable Homes Now!

We, the undersigned provisional members of ACORN Canada, recommend that the Surrey municipal government pass a standards of maintenance bylaw and defend the rights of Surrey tenants. Standards of maintenance bylaw will finally protect tenants from landlords who do little to treat unhealthy homes – homes with leaky ceilings, mold, and pest infestation.

Come out to the campaign launch!

When: Saturday, May 7th at 11AM

Where: 108 Ave and King George BLVD, Surrey

Simply fill out the form below to sign the petition

Don't forget to click 'submit'!

Once you've clicked the button, your name will be added to the petition and you'll be redirected to the homepage.

Our Canada

March 25th - Earlier today the opposition in Parliament defeated the governing Conservative Government, forcing a spring election.  Over the next 6 to 8 weeks Canadian are going to have hard choices to make about the kind of Canada we want.

I remember when the Government of Canada still thought affordable housing, poverty and consumer protections were priorities that mattered. Sadly, the last 5 years have not delivered that kind of leadership.

This election is going to give Canadians a chance to vote for the issues that matter to folks like us.  Can you help spread the word about ‘Our Canada’?

Just click here to share with your friends on Facebook

We know this election won’t solve every problem the country faces, but if we don’t demand better from all the parties in Ottawa we’ve solved nothing.

Thanks for everything you do,
Marva Burnett, Chair of the Board

Time for a Standards and Maintenance Bylaw to protect Surrey tenants

Surrey ACORN member Sue Collard is leading a campaign a see the City of Surrey enact its first ever bylaw setting minimum requirements for apartment standards.

After learning of the absence of a municipal ordinance, Sue appealed to the Provincial Residential Tenancy Branch for help in getting her landlord Waterford Development Limited to make basic repairs in her building. When the Residential Tenancy Branch ruled that they were unable to compel a landlord to fix systemic problems in apartment building, Sue took her fight to the BC Supreme Court.

It was at the BC Supreme Court, that Sue started to see new progress with the court ruling that the Residential Tenancy Act includes a:

“mandatory obligation on the part of a landlord to maintain ‘residential property’ in a state of decoration and repair”.

This is an important win for tenants in Surrey and highlights the need for Surrey to adopt a local bylaw to protect tenants from negligent landlords like Sue’s.

This story was recently covered in the Georgia Straight, and the original article can be viewed at: http://www.straight.com/article-373762/vancouver/standardsofmaintenance-...

 

PERC: Red Tents or Affordable Housing?

 

Jan 16th - The article below is taken from the Peace and Environment Resource Centre in Ottawa, written by Denise Deby.

Dozens of red tents appeared on Parliament Hill last October 19. The tents marked Canada Day of Action for a Federal Housing Strategy, held to coincide with the third reading in Parliament of Bill C-304, "An Act to Ensure Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing for Canadians."

About 150 housing advocates from Ottawa, Toronto, London and Montreal, along with the public, attended a rally on Parliament Hill and at the Human Rights Monument. Related events took place in 10 other Canadian cities. Over 20 national and local housing groups organized the tent event. They include Pivot Legal Society, Canada Without Poverty (CWP) Advocacy Network, ACORN Canada, Impact on Communities Coalition, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa, and le Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU).

The idea of using red tents to draw attention to governments' responsibility for housing as a human right came from campaigns in France in 2006 and in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics.

In Canada, an estimated 300,000 people are homeless, with millions more in substandard or unaffordable housing, reports the non-profit Wellesley Institute. In Ottawa, over 10,000 households are waitlisted for social housing. In 2009, 7,500 people in Ottawa stayed in emergency shelters, according to the Alliance to End Homelessness.

Read the full original article at: http://www.perc.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99:red-tents-or-affordable-housing&catid=37:current-pen-issue&Itemid=58

New report on affordable housing

Dec. 1, 2010 - ACORN Canada was disappointed with the release Monday of Premier McGuinty’s long term affordable housing strategy.  After years of advocating for a provincial housing plan that will address the affordable housing crisis in substantial way, ACORN members, tenants, and low-income residents across Ontario expected much from the Province.

As the Toronto Star pointed out in their editorial response to the release of the housing plan, it "...[the housing plan] is little more than a series of regulatory changes” in the place of a comprehensive plan to address housing affordability.

Today, ACORN Canada along with the Wellesley Institute are releasing our own report on a key policy that was left out of the housing plan: Inclusionary Housing.

Inclusionary housing policies are powerful tools that Ontario municipalities can use to build new affordable housing.   They work by changing zoning practices to mandate affordable units in all new residential development, thus creating a permanent stock of affordable housing located in every new housing development, and thereby spread across the community.

Ontario misses the mark with housing plan

Nov 29, 2010 - Earlier today the Government of Ontario released their long awaited and much delayed long term affordable housing strategy.  There was much hope that after more that 6 months of consultations, over 1000 written submissions and a full year of writing that Premier McGuinty and his administration would provide a bold vision for affordable housing in Ontario.  

They did not. Instead they opted to package a handful of reforms as a comprehensive housing plan, while failing to act on key areas that ACORN members, tenants, housing experts and others had been advocating for.

Pages